SEATTLE — An infant infected with Aspergillus mold who was being treated at Seattle Children's hospital has died, according to her family.
Five-month-old Elizabeth Hutt "gained her wings on her 175th day of life," her parents wrote on Facebook.
Elizabeth, known as Beth, was transferred to Seattle Children’s the day after she was born at Tacoma General with congenital heart failure, according to her parents Katie and Micah Hutt of Lacey.
Beth underwent two heart surgeries at Seattle Children's on Aug. 26 and Nov. 7, which were in between two different operating room closures due to detected mold.
Aspergillus is a common mold that can cause infection in patients with a compromised immune system.
Katie Hutt previously said the infection "changed her trajectory of treatment." Katie said Elizabeth was "sicker than when she was going into treatment."
About three weeks after Beth's November surgery, she tested positive for an Aspergillus infection in her heart.
Seattle Children's released the following statement Wednesday: "Losing a child is incredibly devastating for everyone whose lives were touched by that child. Our deepest condolences go out to families and loved ones who have experienced a loss. Out of respect for privacy of our patients and their families, Seattle Children’s will not be sharing additional information."
Katie and Micah said they hope the lawsuit sparks real change at Seattle Children's. Although the couple said they have full confidence in the hospital's doctors and nurses, they are frustrated with a system that left families vulnerable.
Since 2001, 14 Seattle Children's patients have been infected with Aspergillus mold. Six people have died.
Dangerous levels of mold forced the hospital to temporarily close its operating rooms in May 2019, and the hospital closed its main operating rooms again in November after mold was detected a second time.
Seattle Children’s main operating rooms closed as the hospital addressed to complete upgrades, including installing a new rooftop air handler and HEPA filters in its operating rooms and adjacent supply areas.
The Washington State Department of Health released a statement Jan. 8 saying it completed its on-site investigation of Seattle Children's Hospital.
"We looked at governance, physical environment, infection control, and quality assurance. Based on our extensive interviews and reviews of the environment, we found that they were following the rules. DOH found no evidence of deficient practices, but during the course of the investigation, inspectors verified the presence of mold on the premises," read a statement from the state DOH.